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Vayeshev 5778

December 5, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 3rd, 2017

Gen 37:26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28 When Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph up out of the pit. They sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who brought Joseph to Egypt.

Who pulled Joseph out of the pit, and who sold him to whom?

This week’s handout:  09 Vayeshev 5778


Pre-order the Genesis volume of the Commentators’ Bible!


Nitzavim-Vayelech 5777

September 12, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 10th, 2017

Deut. 30:1

When all these things befall you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God, and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul, just as I enjoin upon you this day, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunesa and take you back in love.

But is “then” in the right place?  Marc Brettler doesn’t think so.

This week’s handout:  51-52 Nitzavim-Vayelech 5777


Tzav 5777

April 4, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 2nd, 2017

Is holiness contagious?  The real meaning of Lev 6:11.

Bonus:  “One of the best left-handed compliments in the history of Jewish Bible commentaries .”

This week’s handout:  25 Tzav 5777

Marty Lockshin, “Is Holiness Contagious?” on


Happy Passover to all!  Reminder: no podcast next week, when we are reading the holiday portion on Shabbat; the podcast will be back the week after, with Parshat Shemini.